Reds give Chapman the call

GREGOR CHISHOLM, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:53 PM ET

Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman is bringing his overpowering arsenal of pitches to the big leagues.

On Tuesday, the Cincinnati Reds promoted Chapman from Triple-A Louisville, where the 22-year-old was 9-6 with a 3.57 ERA and 125 strikeouts over 95 2/3 innings.

Chapman made headlines earlier this week when baseball scouts clocked his fastball at an eye-popping 105 mph. There had been doubts about whether the radar gun reading was accurate but one scout who was in attendance told ESPN.com that it was legit.

"That's a heck of a first impression," the scout said. "I had him with three 103s and a 104, and I'd never seen anything above the 100 I got from (Washington's Stephen) Strasburg last spring and the 101 from (Detroit's Joel) Zumaya earlier this year.

"It's an amazing feat, I had to look around and see if (my gun) was off for that one."

The Toronto Blue Jays were runner-ups in the Chapman sweepstakes during the off-season. After Chapman worked out in front of Blue Jays management in December, general manager Alex Anthopoulos made the lefty one of his top off-season priorities. The two sides were unable to reach an agreement, though, and instead the Reds jumped in and signed the Cuban defector to a six-year, $30.25 million US contract.

By promoting Chapman in August – instead of waiting for rosters to expand to 40 players on Sept. 1 – the Reds have made the lefty available for post-season play. Cincinnati entered Tuesday night's game against the Milwaukee Brewers with a six-game lead over the St. Louis Cardinals for first place in the National League Central.

The Reds will use Chapman out of the bullpen, where he went 4-1 with a 2.40 ERA and eight saves over 30 innings of work in Triple-A. The club still envisions him as a front of the rotation starter but decided to shift Chapman to the bullpen to limit his innings pitched this season.

"I think Dusty (Baker) will ease him into a role until he gets his feet on the ground," Reds general manager Walt Jocketty told reporters on Tuesday. "Then, depending on how he does, we'll see how the role develops."

Manny being Manny

Manny Ramirez did his best impersonation of Sammy Sosa when the Chicago White Sox introduced their newest acquisition to the media on Tuesday afternoon.

Despite being in the middle of his 18th Major Leaugue season and regularly conducting interviews in English, Ramirez would only answer questions in Spanish during his opening news conference. White Sox bench coach Joey Cora acted as Ramirez's interpreter throughout the 13-minute interview.

"(Ramirez) feels more comfortable with his language," Cora told reporters. "Obviously he understands (the questions), but he just wants to make sure."

The bizarre scene evoked memories of Sammy Sosa's appearance before the U.S. congress in 2005 when he seemed to momentarily forget the English language and requested that all questions go through his interpreter.

Chicago claimed the 38-year-old slugger off waivers from the Los Angeles Dodgers Monday. Chicago is hoping the 12-time all-star will help the White Sox overcome the Minnesota Twins in the AL Central. The White Sox entered Tuesday night four games back of first place.

This season, Ramirez has suffered through two stints on the disabled list and is hitting .311 with just eight home runs and 40 RBIs in 66 games.

Doctor's orders

Minnesota first baseman Justin Morneau has been ordered by team doctor's to stay home until at least Friday. The New Westminster, B.C., native had hoped to re-join the Twins when they returned home to play a three-game series against the Detroit Tigers.

Morneau has been out of the lineup for almost two months because of lingering side effects from a concussion he suffered in Toronto on July 8.

The 29-year-old appeared to be making progress in his rehab when he began taking swings a few weeks ago. But since that time there has been very little improvement in his situation and the Twins are unsure about when he'll be ready to take the field again.

In 81 games this season, Morneau is hitting .345 with 18 home runs and 56 RBIs.

Rockies acquire Delcarmen

The Colorado Rockies bolstered their bullpen corps Tuesday by acquiring right-hander Manny Delcarmen from the Boston Red Sox.

Delcarmen was 3-2 with a 4.70 ERA and 32 strikeouts over 44 innings. The Rockies are banking on Delcarmen returning to his 2008 form, when the hard-throwing righty posted a 3.27 ERA in 74 1/3 innings.

Boston also sent cash considerations to the Rockies while receiving pitcher Chris Balcom-Miller in return. Miller, 21, was 6-7 with a 3.31 ERA in 19 starts for Class-A Asheville of the South Atlantic League.

Briefly

The Atlanta Braves recalled outfielder Nate McLouth from Triple-A Gwinnett Tuesday. First baseman Troy Glaus also rejoined the team from a rehab assignment but he is not eligible to be activated from the disabled list until Thursday. Glaus has been out since Aug. 18 with a left knee injury. ... Washington Nationals rookie phenom is set to have Tommy John surgery on Friday to repair his injured right elbow. The 22-year-old right-hander is expected to be out for 12-18 months.


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